Winter Roadtrip

Stopped here on the way south to San Antonio. There were only two RVs in the entire campground. Reservations easily made online. Chose a nice spot adjacent to the Lake where I was visited by a friendly goose for breakfast.

Took a run around the area on several miles of developed trails and roads. Campsites are relatively close together and I can see how the place may get crowded in the summer, but it was almost completely vacant in December so I was grateful for the seclusion. The area also offers a primitive boat dock/ramp and several group pavilions.

Crowded but Beautiful

Really interesting and unique park a little over an hour north of Las Vegas. Easy, short hikes through beautifully eroded red rock formations. The park is very busy on the weekends, but the park staff were pleasant and helpful.

First come, First serve camping with pay envelopes at the entrance. I was very lucky to find a spot on a Friday morning as another party was departing. Watched dozens of vehicles drive through asking if anyone was leaving.

The campsites are very close together, but everyone was respectful. Glad I checked it off the list.

Tip: If the campground is full, investigate the dispersed camping opportunities outside the park. You’ll see campers dispersed across the landscape while driving on the road to the park.

Blessing

Due to New Mexico Governor’s decision to close state owned campgrounds, we scrambled to find a place to stay prior to visiting White Sands…thank you BLM!!

This area provided a peacefully quiet landscape with expansive views of the lava valley and a memorable sunset. The area was well maintained and offered a 1-mile informational loop hike through the lava field. First Come, First Serve with pay at entrance envelopes.

Flush toilets and showers were unfortunately locked due to the state’s covid ordinance and there was no management on site, but there were multiple potable water pumps and pit toilets available.

Terrific waypoint between Carlsbad Cavern and White Sands.

Petrified Forest NP Basecamp

Stellar basecamp option off I-40 to explore Petrified Forest National Park. Online reservation was easy and cheap. Tent and RV sites reasonably spaced. Fire Ring and picnic tables at each site. Bathrooms were open with running water and flush toilets. Camped two nights while visiting Petrified Forest.

Tip: 10 min drive to Winslow for dinner and drinks at Relic Road Brewing Company🍻 🪵

Secluded Star Gazing

Wonderful dispersed free camping in Mojave National Preserve. Find the first road adjacent to the white cross memorial. We arrived after sunset and we reluctant to drive too far down the uneven and non-maintained dirt road, but were rewarded with an outstanding campsite for our risky persistence!

The road has many wash out holes and soft sand, but I was able to navigate successfully (and slowly) in an AWD Honda Element. Higher clearance four-wheel drive vehicles will be able to explore additional camp sites further down the road, but there are a handful of sites near the entrance.

Tip: Stargazing at this site was outstanding. Rock formations provide comfortable platforms for laying on your back and watching for shooting stars. Camped here in December with overnight lows around 30 degrees. Bundle up and enjoy!!

Dispersed Free Car Camping

Travel west on Whitney Portal Rd from Lone Pine, then turn right onto Movie Rd. Dispersed campsites are plentiful and easily accessible along Movie Rd. Hardest challenge is choosing a spot! Two-wheel drive vehicles are okay to access most sites.

Otherworldly panoramic views on Mt Whitney and the surrounding Sierras. Camped here in December with comfortable overnight lows in the 30’s. Served as a tremendous stop on the way to Death Valley, less than 2-Hrs to the Park’s Panamint Entrance.

Tip: Take time to visit the local outfitters shops in Lone Pine for fire wood and other camping, hiking, mountaineering gear needs…or just drop in to show your support and talk story 😊🤙🏼🏔